France carries out airstrikes against IS in Syria
France has said its fighter planes are attacking “Islamic State” hideouts in Syria. The country is part of the US coalition to fight the jihadi outfit and has already carried out strikes in
President Francois Hollande’s office said on Sunday that the airstrikes were aimed at targets identified by planes on surveillance since September 8 and that its operation had been coordinated with regional partners.
“Our country remains committed to fighting the terrorist threat which is Daesh. We will strike wherever our national security is at risk,” a statement from the Elysee said, referring to the “Islamic State” (IS) by its Arabic acronym.
The French president called for a “comprehensive response” to the chaos in Syria saying “civilian populations must be protected against all forms of violence, that of Daesh and other terrorist groups, but also against the murderous bombings of Bashar al-Assad.”
France and other Western countries including the United States believe that the war in Syria has been instigated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are fighting rebels and IS militants. More than 250,000 people have died in the four-year-long conflict and millions have fled their homes to seek refuge in neighboring countries and in Europe.
Paris has been a part of the US-led international coalition to wipe out IS and has carried out airstrikes in Iraq. It delayed attacks on Syria saying airstrikes on the IS could strengthen Assad, who also has strong backing from Russia and Iran.
The war in the Middle Eastern country and Damascus’ links with Teheran and Moscow are expected to be the main topic in the UN General Assembly in New York, which French President Hollande will also attend together with other world leaders.
US Secretary France’s Syria operation comes shortly before President leaves for New York to join world leaders at the UN General Assembly meeting, expected to focus on the Syrian crisis.
mg/sms (AFP, dpa)